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Friday, March 27, 2020

Supporting Each Other In Recovery During a Pandemic

recovery
Much has changed in the United States since we last posted an article, owing to the surge of new COVID-19 cases and deaths across the country. At the time, in-person 12 Step meetings were still being held in many places, but some had already started transitioning to video conferencing platforms. Now, the addiction recovery community is conducting things quite differently, mostly meeting online and following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

It's no longer safe to go places unless it's essential. Millions have filed for unemployment, and the government is working diligently to provide financial relief. Perhaps you were one of a large number of Americans who have been laid off or asked not to come into work until this crisis blows over. If so, then we are sorry for what you are going through and hope that you are coping in healthy ways. 

The public health crisis that we're all facing is escalating with each passing day. New COVID-19 cases are increasing exponentially, as is the death toll. Millions of people have lost someone that they care about, and experts warn that the trend will continue.

It's essential for each member of the Fellowship to put as much energy as they can into their recovery, while also protecting their health and safety.

If you have been following the data and news reports, then you know that America has surpassed every country in new cases. While the number of deaths is still less than countries like Italy, projections for the U.S. are not good, and we will likely see more coronavirus deaths than any other nation.

Supporting Each Other in Recovery Amid a Pandemic


There are currently 586,140 confirmed coronavirus cases around the globe, according to The Washington Post. Some 26,865 people have died from health complications caused by COVID-19 globally.

Here at home, 97,226 have tested positive for this life-threatening virus, and 1,478 died. At HAUS Recovery, we are keeping every family impacted by COVID-19 in our thoughts and prayers.

Each American has had to make significant sacrifices as a result of the pandemic. The addiction recovery community and people with other forms of mental illness have been impacted in many ways. Moreover, the risk of thousands of relapses is exceptionally high in light of the guidelines to prevent contraction.

Men and women recover together; they work in harmony to achieve the goal of lasting progress. While attending meetings from one's home via the internet is extremely helpful and has proven effective, not everyone has online access. Some people's reality is hugely problematic when it comes to maintaining a program.

Self-quarantining is a form of isolation, which is a behavior that's never beneficial for men and women in recovery. Social distancing is antithetical to addiction recovery, but we must, in order to safeguard our well-being.

Now, perhaps more than ever, the Fellowship needs to be vigilant about looking out for one another. Calling each other regularly and helping those without internet capabilities acquire such services need to be a priority. This pandemic is likely the most challenging test for any one person's recovery. However, we can persevere if we work together and help our peers cope with stress and anxiety.

A Message from NIDA


You may have read that people with pre-existing respiratory and pulmonary conditions face significant risks of contraction. COVID-19 attacks the lungs. Unfortunately, many people living with addiction have lung disorders due to smoking and heavy drug use.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse published a statement warning that many people touched by addiction are highly susceptible to contracting the coronavirus, and their bodies may be unable to fight the virus if the breathing is already compromised.

If you are living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease, or another form of respiratory disease, then please be careful when leaving your home. What's more, tobacco users, vapers, and cannabis smokers are not the only people at risk. NIDA points out:

"People with opioid use disorder (OUD) and methamphetamine use disorder may also be vulnerable due to those drugs' effects on respiratory and pulmonary health." 

It's not easy to acquire hand sanitizers, masks, and other types of protective gear, which further puts men and women at risk. Hopefully, such goods will be more readily available in the near future. For more info on how you can avoid contraction, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization for guidance.

Southern California Sober Living


If you require assistance for drug and alcohol addiction, please contact HAUS Recovery Center to learn more about our programs and services. We want to inform you that we are following all state and federal guidelines to safeguard the well-being of our residents.

Friday, March 13, 2020

AA is Effective and Safeguarding Your Recovery Despite COVID-19

recovery
HAUS Recovery clients attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous on a regular basis. 12 Step groups help men and women sustain their addiction recovery. Working with others keeps clients on track to achieving long-term recovery.

Perhaps you heard the news about a new systematic review that found Alcoholics Anonymous the most effective method for abstinence for people struggling with alcohol use disorder. The findings were published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Review.

"These results demonstrate A.A.'s effectiveness in helping people not only initiate but sustain abstinence and remission over the long term," said the review's lead author, John F. Kelly, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the Recovery Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The researchers found that A.A. and treatments that facilitate TSF involvement (Twelve‐Step Facilitation interventions) usually produced higher rates of continuous abstinence than the other established therapies for addiction.

Now that there is some evidence of the efficacy of 12 Step programs, people attending meetings will likely want to continue doing so. However, there is a new problem that the recovery community must address: The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have attended 12 Step meetings, then you know that there is a lot of person to person interaction. People who go to meetings shake hands, hug, and sit close to one another. Since public health agencies recommend avoiding such behaviors, including gathering in large groups, the Coronavirus is more than problematic for those in recovery.

Guidance for the 12 Step Community

It's vital that you take every precaution to avoid coming into contact with COVID-19. Disease transmission is escalating every day in the United States. Hopefully, you will take the time to follow the CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19. Visit CDC.gov for more information.

As it stands today, meetings are still being held across the country. However, the General Service Office (G.S.O.) of Alcoholics Anonymous has published a statement regarding COVID-19. They write about what many groups country wide are doing to safeguard the health of their members. 

Naturally, thousands of people in recovery have reached out to the G.S.O. regarding COVID-19 concerns. The resource center for A.A. members and groups states that each group has the right to hold meetings as they please, but each member is responsible for their own health decisions, regardless of their homegroup's decisions. The G.S.O. writes:
"Some groups have discussed making changes to customs at their meetings. Some examples have included: avoiding shaking hands and handholding; making sure meeting hospitality tables are sanitary; or suspending food hospitality for the time being...Some groups have considered contingency plans in case the group is temporarily unable to meet in person. Plans have included: creating contact lists and keeping in touch by phone, email or social media; meeting by phone or online. Providing members information for the A.A. Online Intergroup (www.aa-intergroup.org) may serve as an additional helpful resource. If a group isn't holding its regular meetings, they may want to communicate this to local A.A. resources, such as the district, area and intergroup or central office."
At HAUS Recovery, we hope that you take steps to protect your sobriety even if you decide not to attend meetings for the time being. Make sure that you stay in constant contact with your support network and sponsor to safeguard your progress. Moreover, your health and safety are of the utmost importance. Please take every measure possible to prevent coming into contact with the virus.

Structured Sober Living in Southern California

HAUS Recovery will also be following the CDC guidelines on the COVID-19 virus to ensure our clients are protected. If you are in need of assistance for alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder, we invite you to contact HAUS to learn more about our programs and services. We want to welcome you to the HAUS, where you'll feel safe, grounded, and accepted.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Sponsors Walk You Through the 12 Steps

recovery sponsor
If you have been in recovery for even a brief moment, then you may have heard the saying: "Stay in the middle of the herd, so you don't get picked off." This means attending 12-step meetings regularly will help you protect against relapse.

In sober living or transitional living homes like HAUS Recovery, our clients are instructed to attend 12 Step meetings on a regular basis. Each client also attends house meetings and weekly beach meetings (one of the benefits of being situated on the California coast).

The goal is simple. One must firmly establish him or herself in a recovery community following residential or outpatient treatment. We have written about the benefits of 90 meetings in 90 days in the past; hopefully, you read the post, especially if you are in early recovery.

“Meeting-makers make it” as the saying goes. If you attend mutual-help groups for addiction recovery, then you are acutely aware that healing depends on more than just meetings. You know that working the steps is instrumental to your ability to stay the course, and you cannot work the 12 Steps alone.

A sponsor is a man or woman who has worked all 12 Steps and is able to walk others through them as well. Such people usually have more than a year of sobriety, although 365 days sober is not a mandate. Each case is different. Either way, it's vital to make a connection with another individual in the program and allow them to walk you through the process.

One day, you will pay what you learn from your sponsor forward and become part of a decades-old chain of recovery. You cannot keep what you have unless you give it away.

Choosing the Right Sponsor in Recovery


Sponsors come in all shapes and sizes, and from a myriad of backgrounds. No two sponsors guide newcomers in the same way. Once you are out of treatment and hopefully residing in a structured sober living home, it's time to seek out an individual who can help you with step work.

It's alright to be discerning about who you choose to serve as your guide. After attending several meetings, you will have heard several people share. At least one individual's words likely resonated with you. Approach said member of the group and ask them if they are taking on new sponsees after the meeting comes to a close.

If they agree to take you on, then you are on your way to unlocking the secret to achieving long-term recovery. It's also possible that the person you ask to sponsor you already has too many people under their guidance; a sponsor needs to be able to provide each sponsee with the attention required. Taking on too many sponsees is a disservice to each individual. If that is the case, then please do not dismay or become discouraged. There is always another in the program that you can relate with, so ask them for guidance.

While there aren't strict guidelines for choosing a sponsor, there are few suggestions worth heeding. Search for an individual of the same sex; members of the opposite sex can be a distraction for people in early recovery. A sponsor's age, in relation to you, is not as important, but you may find it easier to talk to someone older, or maybe you will find it more comfortable working the steps with a contemporary.

Always look for the similarities and not the differences when choosing a sponsor. Some newcomers benefit from picking a sponsor who is nothing like themselves. Again, you have to decide what works best for you. What's more, choose one who you think can hold you accountable.

Attending meetings and working with a sponsor is the best way to stay in the middle and keep recovery a priority. In time, your sponsor will become more than just a guide; he or she will likely turn into both friend and trusted ally. Please also keep in mind that you are helping your sponsor stay sober by working the steps with them—nobody can keep what they have unless they give it away.

Southern California Structured Sober Living


Those who choose HAUS Recovery will receive guidance on sponsorship and how to work the steps effectively. Sober living is a protective coating for men and women in early recovery. If you or a loved one is about to be discharged from treatment, then we invite you to reach out to HAUS to learn more about our program.

We can significantly help you maintain your abstinence while you reside in the company of active, inspired, and grateful people. Our caring, supportive team is committed to aiding you in reaching your full potential.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Coping with Cravings in Recovery

cravings in recovery
Cravings are part of early recovery; learning to cope with them in healthy ways is instrumental. If you are in your first year of sobriety, then you are fully aware of what it feels like to crave drugs and alcohol. The temptation to use is a common occurrence that is challenging to escape at times. However, there are many things you can do to lessen their frequency and manage them when they arise. 

Many of our readers have undergone detox and treatment, but are still on shaky ground. Some of you have gone into sober living for extra support to strengthen your program. Perhaps you are residing in a transitional living home now? If so, then you made a sound choice and one that could make all the difference.

Relapse is most common in the first year of recovery. The mind and body are still healing, and working a program is still relatively foreign to you. In treatment, you experienced cravings, but you were in a safe environment amongst supportive counselors and peers. Now that you are out of treatment, you have to put what you learned in practice.

Undoubtedly, you learned some tools for avoiding triggers and coping with cravings while in treatment. You know that they can pop up out of nowhere seemingly, but they tend to dissipate relatively quickly. Still, it's essential to take action to protect your program when unwanted urges come up.

Dealing with Cravings in Recovery


There are several healthy things you can do when you experience a desire to drink or drug. First, call someone in your support network or speak to peer in your sober living. Second, get yourself to a meeting as soon as possible; it will place you in a safe space and give you a forum to share how you are feeling.

Naturally, you may not always be able to get to a meeting for support, and if you do not live in a sober living home, then you may not have a close ally nearby. It's uncommon, but let's imagine that you can't reach anyone over the phone (remember there are 24-hour support lines for people in recovery). Fortunately, there are several methods of abating your cravings on your own such as meditation.

Meditation is a simple technique for clearing your mind and grounding yourself. There isn't one way to meditate, so find what works for you; there are many resources online that can help guide you in the practice. Anything you can do to ground yourself, such as breathing exercises, will counter a craving.

The critical thing to remember when dealing with cravings is that they are temporary. With that in mind, it's best to prioritize distracting yourself when facing the urge to use. Reading your Big Book or any piece of literature can help take your mind off of drugs and alcohol. Turn on the television or, better yet, take a walk. Nature has a cleansing effect on one's psyche.

As long as your choice of distraction is healthy, you are heading in the right direction. Lastly, one of the most effective ways to combat a craving is by playing the tape forward. Think about what will happen if you act on the urge to use, and you will quickly realize that it's hardly worth jeopardizing all your hard work.

Structured Sober Living in Southern California


HAUS Recovery is a co-ed sober living facility located in beautiful Santa Monica, California. Our team of dedicated counselors and addiction specialists can help you or a loved one maintain a program of recovery and acquire the skills needed to make positive changes last.

We are committed to making our clients feel safe, grounded, and accepted. Please contact us today to learn more about our structured sober living.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Benzodiazepines are Prescribed at Alarming Rates

benzodiazepines
Each day in America, some 130 people lose their lives to an overdose. As most of our readers know, the United States has long been amid an opioid scourge. While opioids are the driving force of fatal overdoses, other drugs are playing a significant role too.

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that there were about 13,000 deaths involving methamphetamine nationwide in 2018. What's more, meth-related overdoses surpassed prescription painkillers since late last year.

While stimulant use is a growing concern in the U.S., and Congressional lawmakers are taking steps to tackle the problem, there is another drug that is stealing the lives of Americans. Prescription sedatives such as benzodiazepines or "benzos" are often involved in overdose deaths. 

Benzodiazepines are a class of central nervous system depressants. Valium (diazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), Ativan (Lorazepam), and Klonopin (clonazepam) are all part of this family of highly addictive drugs. The medications listed above are the most commonly prescribed, but there are many others as well.

Benzos are dangerous when used alone, and regular use and abuse leads to addiction. When too many of these types of drugs are taken, an overdose can result. However, when opioids and benzodiazepines are used in conjunction, the risk of overdose increases significantly.

While there are some indications that doctors are now less willing to prescribe opioids than before, the same is not the case for drugs like Xanax and Klonopin. Alarming new data shows a dramatic rise in benzodiazepine prescriptions in recent years.

A Multifaceted Overdose Epidemic


The CDC has released data on benzodiazepine prescriptions that are cause for significant concern. Researchers found that between 2014 and 2016, doctors prescribed these hazardous drugs at about 65.9 million office-based doctor visits, CNN reports. That figure breaks down to 27 annual visits per 100 adults.

When benzodiazepines are taken as prescribed, they can alleviate people's anxiety and help people who struggle with sleeping. However, when this class of drug is misused or mixed with alcohol or opioids, then overdose risk increases exponentially.

The study found that one-third of doctor's visits where benzos were prescribed also involved an overlapping opioid prescription from 2014 to 2016, according to the article. Many patients are not aware that an admixture of both drugs can lead to an overdose.

As mentioned above, benzodiazepine abuse is hazardous on its own. They are incredibly addictive, and detoxification often requires medical supervision. Unlike opioid withdrawal, benzos detoxification can be fatal; heavy users can experience seizures that can be deadly.

"This is a really undercovered story," said Keith Humphreys, a psychologist and Esther Ting Memorial Professor at Stanford University. "I think of it as the hidden element of our overdose epidemic that does need attention."

Other study findings include that women sought benzodiazepine prescriptions more than men, and a primary care provider wrote almost half of all prescriptions, the article reports. The researchers also found that the number of doctor visits for benzos increased with age.

"The most alarming finding in this study are the numbers about the elderly, this is the population that face the most danger from the drugs," said Dr. Joanna Starrels, an associate professor in the department of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Post-Treatment Support for Benzodiazepine Addiction


If you recently completed an addiction treatment program for a sedative or opioid use disorder, then you can significantly benefit from a structured sober living. At HAUS Recovery, we can help you strengthen your program and mitigate the risk of

Friday, January 10, 2020

Addiction Recovery: Progress, Not Perfection

recovery progress
At HAUS Recovery, we believe that progress is a pillar of addiction recovery. Those who succeed in achieving long-term sobriety are the men and women who are willing to do whatever it takes for continued self-growth. Working a program is a life-long process, which means a daily commitment to enhancing and strengthening your program.

The longer you are in recovery, the more you will see your life improve in a myriad of ways. From reuniting with family to finishing your education and landing a good job, anything is possible for men and women who stay on the path.

Naturally, working a daily, year-round program of recovery requires tremendous effort. One can never become complacent or rest on their laurels, regardless of the amount of clean and sober time you have.

Early recovery is when your program is at the most significant risk of coming apart. The brain is still healing, and it takes time to learn effective ways of coping with the stressors of life. It’s vital that you stick as close to the circle of recovery as best you can, and avoid people, places, and things that can compromise your hard work.

If you are on the verge of leaving rehab, then we strongly advise you to reach out for post-treatment support services in the form of sober living. Those who opt for continued structured support following treatment set themselves up for achieving continued progress.

Prioritizing Progress in Addiction Recovery


Progress in recovery can be measured in several ways, and you mustn’t stress over how quickly you reach milestones. In the first year of recovery, setting and meeting objectives is made more accessible by living in the company of people working toward similar goals.

Those who opt for sober living after treatment benefit enormously from having a strong support network close by as they make the transition from rehab to everyday life. It’s equivalent to walking into a dark lake slowly versus diving headfirst; you do not know what lies beneath the surface.

Being able to access emotional support and having role models to look to will help you make progress. The people you live with will also aid you in problem-solving should issues arise. Residing in sober living will help you practice honesty, which is essential to achieving long-term recovery. 

Years of and drug and alcohol misuse and abuse leave the mind and body malnourished. In treatment, you probably learned how to adopt more healthy eating habits and about the benefits of exercise. Once in sober living, your mentors will encourage you to stay on the path of a healthy life. Nourishing the body will help your mind heal from the ravages of addiction, which will help you make better decisions because you think more clearly.

In recovery, it’s about progress, not perfection. Attending meetings, volunteering your time, working with others, doing the steps with a sponsor, eating right, and exercising will all position you for making progress in recovery. All of the above will help you keep your mind off the past and stay focused on the present so that you can have a bright and productive future in recovery.

Santa Monica Structured Sober Living


Those who seek the assistance of HAUS Recovery will have access to all the helpful things mentioned above. You will receive emotional support and guidance from your peers and staff; our chef prepares fresh and delicious organic meals, a complimentary gym membership, and more are available to residents.

At HAUS, you will grow in strength as you form healthy relationships with men and women who share similar paths and collective goals for the future. Having a fellowship will also help you gauge your progress; it’s not always easy to tell when you are improving, your peers can share valuable insights and instruct you in many ways.

Please contact us today to learn how HAUS can help you continue making progress in recovery. 888-551-4715

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Relapse Prevention: 90 Meetings in 90 Days

relapse
At HAUS Recovery, we hope that you had a safe and sober Christmas and are making preparations for keeping your recovery intact into the New Year. Relapse prevention is a staple of early recovery and beyond, and significant holidays often derail people’s programs. Those who manage to maintain their sobriety during the holiday season have to double their efforts to avoid risky situations.

Still, preventing relapse can be challenging regardless of what time of the year it is; the disease of addiction is continually trying to elbow its way back into your life. In order to safeguard your recovery, you must continue utilizing the relapse prevention tools you learned in treatment. Moreover, you must always put your recovery ahead of everything else; people who put their recovery first make it last.

Lasting recovery is the goal for anyone who has a history of alcohol or substance use disorder. Those who achieve long-term recovery following treatment quite often seek the assistance of a structured sober living home. Changing your way of life depends heavily on having safety nets in place to help prevent getting off track. What’s more, having a strong support group – such as those attending 12 Step meetings – is vital.

In treatment, you probably learned about the value of joining a fellowship like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. It’s likely that you were also encouraged to enter sober living immediately following your discharge. As we mentioned in a previous post, returning to your home after treatment can be hazardous to recovery. Hopefully, you followed your aftercare guidance. Perhaps you are living in a sober or transitional living home currently?

In any event, sober living or not, your goal of achieving long-term recovery depends on attending meetings daily. Repetition is essential to people in early recovery.

Meeting Makers Make It


If you are in sober living, then you are probably instructed to attend a meeting of recovery every day of the week. Finding a homegroup and a sponsor will help you adopt the principles needed for leading a life in recovery. You may have to attend several different groups before you find one that will be your homegroup. Be on the lookout for a sponsor once you’ve established a daily meeting of choice. It’s incredibly beneficial to share the same homegroup as your sponsor.

A sponsor will walk you through the Steps, and he or she will be your go-to person for support, but they will not be the only individual you turn to for help. When you attend the same meeting seven days a week, you begin to develop relationships with individual members of the group. Such people will not just be lifelines in times of crisis, and they will also become your friends.

Leading a life in recovery means letting go of past acquaintances, primarily the people who used drugs and alcohol with you. Attending meetings is an opportunity to foster healthy and supportive relationships with men and women who share your goal of lasting sobriety. Such people, like your sponsor, are also a source of accountability.

Bonds are formed when your recovery peers see you day after day. If for some reason you miss a meeting, such individuals will reach out to you and see if you need assistance. However, it will be difficult to form lasting bonds with members of your homegroup if you are regularly absent. Even though there will be days that you do not feel like attending a meeting, it’s beneficial to set the goal of attending 90 meetings in 90 days following treatment.

90 Meetings In 90 Days Prevents Relapse


When attending meetings becomes a routine, you may start looking at them differently than you did initially. Going to your homegroup will not seem like a quotidian chore; instead, you will see them as a chance to charge your spiritual battery. What’s more, daily meetings will help you get in the practice of speaking in front of others without fear or trepidation.

Sharing at meetings lets your support network know how you are doing; it’s a means of checking in. If you are struggling with some aspect of the program, then another member will likely reach out to offer guidance after the meeting. Their advice could help you prevent making a decision that could lead to a relapse.

Conversely, your daily attendance will help you get in the necessary practice of extending your hand to newcomers with less time than you. Recovery is maintained by paying it forward; you are responsible for passing on what you have learned to those who are new to the program.

Structured Sober Living in Early Recovery


If you or a loved one is on the verge of being discharged from an addiction treatment center, then please contact HAUS Recovery. We also invite people who are new to the program but did not attend rehab to contact us as well. Our team of dedicated professionals can help you strengthen your program. We are available at any time to provide you with more information about our program. (888) 551-4715